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Ex-Tuguegarao mayor Ting acquitted in graft raps

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- The Sandiganbayan acquitted former Tuguegarao City mayor Delfin Ting in his graft charges in connection demolition of an old market in 2008.

In a 22-page decision penned by Justice Samuel Martires, the anti-graft court’s Special Second Division said the prosecutors failed to prove that Ting violated the Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The court said “no manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence” when he enforced the ordinance.

Said ordinance paved way to the demolition of the old city central market for the building of a 3-storey “Mall of the Valley.”

The prosecutors, in their graft complaints, accused Ting of demolishing the market, which had a book value of about P24 million, even without the authorization of the city council.

Prosecutors argued that the ordinance only approved for the “upgrading: of the market, not demolition.

But in its decision, the Sandiganbayan said the prosecutors failed to present any validated evidence that the city council, in approving the upgrading project, did not really intend for the demolition of the old market building.

It said the prosecutors only based its case to the “wordings of the resolution that what was authorized is a mere upgrading.”

The court said the city council would know that the rise of the new building will pave way to the demolition of the old building since the proposed project will have a basement.

The court also dismissed the testimony of the complainant, engineer Robert Guzman, that the demolition was disadvantageous to the city government, adding that the Commission on Audit had not found irregularities on the project. -Northernforum.net

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